Note—As you work through the discussion guide, remember that you do not have to answer every question; pick and choose which questions work best for your group discussion.
Introduction: What are some different views of what is real? Don’t worry about the technical names, just describe some of them? Then discuss how they cannot all be true because they contradict each other.
Read: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. -1 Peter 1:3-9
Q1: Why is it so important to make praise and thanksgiving a reflex or habit?
Q2: What is your current automatic response to trouble or things that bring you grief? (Anger, detachment, denial, fear)
Q3: How are habits formed or reformed? (Give some specific examples from your life…try to stick with “good habits”)
Q4: What are the specific things that Peter lists that we are to be grateful for? (Actually, different aspects of the single thing…our salvation)
Read: I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Phil. 1:20-21
Q5: Do you ever wonder if you will have courage for what is ahead of you? (Terry said that he does).
Q6: How does this verse, along with 1 Peter 1:5, give confidence that we will be able to remain faithful for whatever lies ahead?
Q7: There are three things about this passage that I want us to think about:
- How can he say that our grief is for a “little while”?
- Why would trials be “necessary”?
- What does he mean “grieved by various” trials and what is the implication for us? (It’s unhelpful to compare the severity of our trials to one another)
*You can tackle any or all of those three points…but try to be personal not theoretical in your answer.
Q8: A. Where have you seen people harmed by relying on emotions? B. Where have you seen people fail to thrive because they reject and overly distrust emotions? C. Why is it hard to find balance in this?
Q9: Is “seeing” necessary for loving someone? Why or why not? (Consider: Some people saw Jesus and yet did not love him)
Q10: How do we learn to love someone and how does this apply to our relationship with Christ? (We get to know their heart, we invest ourselves into them and our hearts follow)
Q11: Are you satisfied with your relationship with Jesus or at least with the growth trajectory of that relationship? If so, describe that relationship. It no, what do you think you can do to improve it?